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Urgent investment required to protect the Irish health system – Sin Féin

The representative of Sinn Féin Galway East, Louis O’Hara, shared his perspective on Covid-19 and Ireland’s public health system.

According to O’Hara, the outbreak of Covid-19 has revealed “a decades-long inability” to create a public health infrastructure that has adequate physicians, nurses, and beds, and with the pandemic far from over, this is a condition that cannot be allowed to continue.

After the launch of Sinn Féin’s €1.9 billion health service capacity protection plan, Louis O’Hara, who secured 16.7 per cent of first preference votes at the February General Election, spoke.  

Mr. O’Hara stated that the specific strategy is to provide the staff with assurance about various sectors such as jobs, expand physical infrastructure through community space, repurpose space in acute hospitals, expand space through modular units, and leverage at-cost capacity in the private sector. 

The health system was already in crisis and is now under pressure on many levels as a result of this pandemic: overworked staff, Covid treatment, non-Covid treatment, catch-up on delayed services, vast capacity reduction and the looming winter flu, said Mr. O’Hara.

He pointed out that, “there are more than 700,000 people on waiting lists, and that this will continue to grow. We could lose from 20 per cent to 40 per cent bed capacity.”

“Frontline staff cannot continue to work overtime in understaffed conditions. This is not safe or fair for staff or patients”

Mr. O’Hara advised the public that our support for patients and healthcare staff is needed because the state healthcare system is faced with daunting circumstances.

“We have a plan for reopening the economy, we have a plan for reopening schools. Now we need a realistic plan to protect Ireland’s health. This is an emergency; it needs emergency response,” he said.  

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